Accessibility Advocates Sign Open Letter Urging People Not To Use AccesiBe and Other Overlay Products
AccessiBe and other similar tools are coming under re after more than 400 accessibility advocates and developers signed an open letter calling on the industry to unite against the use of accessibility overlay products. These overlay “widgets” are technologies that apply third-party code to the front end in an attempt to automate repairs after sites launch without having accessibility baked in from the design phase.
A major part of the complaint is that these products are often marketed as quick-x solutions that will make a website ADA compliant and immune from legal action. For example, the accessiBe website advertises the product as: “The #1 Automated Web Accessibility Solution for ADA & WCAG Compliance…A single line of code for 24/7 automated compliance.” Similarly, EqualWeb advertises making sites accessible by inserting “one line of code” to gain “compliance with WCAG 2.1, ADA, Section 508, AODA, EN 301549 and IS 5568.”
Accessibility practitioners are urging developers and site owners to abandon any overlay solutions they put in place, in favor of those that address inaccessibility at the root of the problem.
The document lists numerous rst-hand accounts of people with disabilities struggling to use websites that have implemented overlays. Although the letter includes various products like Userway, EqualWeb, AudioEye, User1st, MaxAccess, FACIL’iti, and Purple Lens, nearly every struggling person cited accessiBe as the problem.
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